Video Games Can Help Children’s Health

Video games can have health benefits for children, argued an expert in last week's British Medical Journal (BMJ). Prof Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, has been researching the effects of video games for 15 years. He believes that the activity, which is often criticised for encouraging a sedentary lifestyle, can, in some instances, help children’s health.His studies show that children who were given video games to distract them during painful treatment needed less pain relief and had less nausea than those who were simply told to rest.Prof Griffiths added that video games can also provide distraction for children during chemotherapy. They have also been used as a form of physiotherapy or to help develop social and spatial ability skills in children with attention deficit disorders.Playing video games is one of the most popular leisure activities in the world, and is often criticised for its adverse effects on health, which can include:
Video game addiction
Aggressiveness fuelled by violent games
Auditory hallucinations
Repetitive strain injuries
However, firm evidence is lacking.“On balance, there is little evidence that moderate frequency of play has serious adverse effects, but more evidence is needed on excessive play and on defining what constitutes excess in the first place,” Prof Griffiths concluded.
Posted Tuesday 2nd August 2005

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